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Explaining the Prevalence, Context, and Consequences of Dual Arrest in Intimate Partner Cases: Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2007
201 pages
This federally supported project provides a large-scale examination of the police response to intimate partner violence and of the practice known as “dual arrest.”
Arrests for domestic violence in States with mandatory arrest laws and preferred arrest laws were significantly higher than those for departments in discretionary States. These higher arrest rates were observed in acquaintance and stranger cases as well. The overall dual arrest rate was 1.3 percent. Dual arrest rates were higher for intimate partner (1.9 percent) and other domestics (1.5 percent) than for acquaintance (1.0 percent) and stranger (0.8 percent) cases. The existence of mandatory laws significantly increased the likelihood of dual arrest. Dual arrest was significantly more likely to occur in cases involving same sex couples. Although the existence of a mandatory or preferred warrantless arrest law increased the likelihood of arrest, prosecutorial decisionmaking and court outcome indicate that cases in States with mandatory arrest provisions are more likely not to end up in conviction than cases that take place in States with discretionary arrest laws. In an effort to combat intimate partner violence, State laws governing police warrantless arrest powers in domestic violence cases have been greatly expanded. Research indicates that the passage of mandatory and preferred arrest domestic violence laws has resulted in an increased likelihood of arrest and that increased arrest rate is in part attributable to a disproportionate increase in arrest for female either as a single offender or as part of what is known as a “dual arrest.” Dual arrest is a situation that arises when both parties involved in an incident are arrested. Tables, references

Date Published: April 1, 2007